OWAAT October 8: Talking With God In the Midst of It All: Lament, Hope, Rage, Trust…

The past week has been heartbreaking, what with the continued failure of white America to recognize the full humanity and listen to the stories of people of color, as well as the shooting at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest country music festival, representing the continuing failure of the United States to take any meaningful action to prevent gun violence. In both cases, we simply must do better. Let’s continue seeking God and God’s will in the midst of it all.

As we sit with our anger, sadness, and whatever other emotions we may be feeling in the present moment, the Psalms offer us a chance to consider our prayers: how we talk to God – what we say and how we say it, as the whole broader book is humans talking to God – praising, lamenting, the whole deal. This week’s readings, Psalms 44-50, offer a good cross section of what we encounter in the Psalms – from lament at past and present circumstances, to trust and hope in God and God’s realm or empire, rather than what we currently see before us – which is not to diminish our current circumstances, but rather to instead help us continue working, building, and living into God’s realm.

Think:

Daily Bible readings:

October 8 Psalm 44
October 9 Psalm 45
October 10 Psalm 46
October 11 Psalm 47
October 12 Psalm 48
October 13 Psalm 49
October 14 Psalm 50

A number of readings speaking to our present circumstances:

On Psalms of lament: “Getting Brutally Honest With God: The Psalms of Lament Invite Us to Voice Our Frustrations – and Find Reason to Hope

On gun violence in the United States: “It Is Up to Us to Stop Gun Violence” and “Faith vs. Fear: A Faith Response to Gun Violence

On protesting systemic injustice: “Starsky Wilson: Protests Aim to Compel St. Louis to Ease ‘Continuing Pain of Young People’

White privilege and toxic white masculinity – “What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Toxic Masculinity’?” “The Dog Whistle of Racism and Toxic Masculinity” “Why Toxic Masculinity Hurts Men As Well As Women

Pray:

More on Lectio Divina:

Lectio Divina Guides – check out these short guides to help you with your Lectio Divina practice this month

How to Start ‘Lectio Divina’ (Divine Reading) in 2 Simple Psalms – uses Psalms 1 & 2 as examples to help you learn Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina – Personal Reading – Street Psalms 4-step Lectio Divina process

Lectio Divina – a 1-page guide to help you in your pursuits from the Pittsburgh Presbytery

Act:

How will you act on and live out your faith this week? If you’re not sure, here are some ideas:

Check the Think! Pray! Act! calendar for local actions.

Find your local faith- or congregation-based community organizing network/organization and participate in their work and actions.

Get involved with a local coalition to end gun violence and promote gun legislation reform.

What’s going on in your faith life? Let us know in the comments.

References:
“Lectio Divina – Personal Reading.” Street Psalms, June 26, 2014. http://www.streetpsalms.org/lectio-divina-personal-reading/.

Arnold, Willis Ryder. “Starsky Wilson: Protests Aim to Compel St. Louis to Ease ‘Continuing Pain of Young People.’” St. Louis Public Radio, October 5, 2017. http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/starsky-wilson-protests-aim-compel-st-louis-ease-continuing-pain-young-people.

Blackmon, Traci. “Rev. Traci Blackmon: It Is up to US to Stop Gun Violence.” United Church of Christ, October 2, 2017. http://www.ucc.org/commentary_it_is_up_to_us_to_stop_gun_violence_10022017.

Lewis, C. S. Reflections on the Psalms. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1958.

Douglas, Susan J. “Why Toxic Masculinity Hurts Men as Well as Women.” In These Times, July 18, 2017. http://inthesetimes.com/article/20303/the-antidote-to-toxic-masculinity.

Gaultiere, Bill. “Lectio Divina Guides.” Soul Shepherding, July 31, 2012. http://www.soulshepherding.org/2012/07/lectio-divina-guides/.

Humphris, Luke. “What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Toxic Masculinity?’” The Nib, September 1, 2017. https://thenib.com/toxic-masculinity.

Longman III, Tremper. “Getting Brutally Honest with God.” ChristianityToday.Com, April 27, 2015. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/april/getting-brutally-honest-with-god.html.

The Pittsburgh Presbytery. “Lectio Divina.” The Pittsburgh Presbytery, n.d. http://www.pghpresbytery.org/disciplemaking/pdfs/Lectio_Divina.pdf.

Siebel Newsom, Jennifer, and The Representation Project Team. “The Dog Whistle of Racism and Toxic Masculinity.” The Restoration Project Blog, September 27, 2017. http://therepresentationproject.org/dog-whistle-of-racism-and-toxic-masculinity/.

The United Church of Christ. Faith vs. Fear: A Faith Response to Gun Violence; A 5-Part Bible Study. Cleveland, OH: The United Church of Christ, n.d. http://www.uccfiles.com/pdf/faith-vs-fear-bible-study.pdf.

Wenzinger, Mark. “How to Start ‘Lectio Divina’ (Divine Reading) in 2 Simple Psalms.” Seton Magazine, April 9, 2016. http://www.setonmagazine.com/catholic/the-practice-of-lectio-divina-divine-reading-an-example-from-psalms-1-2.

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